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Apr 1, 2015

03:52:57 GMT--Biological Hazard - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: BH-20150401-47574-USA

Date / time: 01/04/2015 03:51:47 [UTC]

Event: Biological Hazard

Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of Montana

Location: [Flathead County]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


A case of avian flu has been reported in Flathead County, making that the first reported case in the state of Montana. This version of the avian flu, according to biologists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, is not something that can be transmitted to humans, but it could be transmitted to other birds. This version of the avian influenza is referred to as highly pathenogenic avian influenza or HPAI. "Well this is not a strain that has any human health effects, to the state that's been recorded, so I don't think it's anything the public has to worry about as far as human health," Montana FWP's John Fraley said. It's important to note that this avian influenza was found in a domestic falcon that was used for the art of falconry, not in a wild game bird. "This was reported in a falcon from Columbia Falls, it was sent to a lab in Iowa and came back positive for this strain of avian influenza. And the thing about it is, it can affect wild birds, but it's mostly concentrated in poultry. Captive poultry," Fraley said. No other cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in the Flathead Valley, but biologists are keeping their eyes open. "If folks out there see waterfowl, or a raptor or a game bird, that seems to have died from unknown causes, we would like to hear about it at Fish, Wildlife and Parks," Fraley said. Fraley says that it's not clear yet how the falcon came into contact with this type of Avian flu, but FWP asks that you report any suspicious bird deaths to their Kalispell office.

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